Jake Paul says he wants to fight better boxers, but fans were left decidedly underwhelmed when the Problem Child revealed his next opponent, 35-year-old cruiserweight Ryan Bourland, on Tuesday.
‘Bros fighting plumbers,’ wrote one fan on Instagram in response to the announcement.
‘That’s my Uber driver,’ another added.
Yet another chimed in, demanding that Paul ‘stop facing grandpas.’
Paul, a former YouTuber who has harnessed his internet fame to promote his fledgling boxing career, will face Bourland, a former Golden Gloves champion, on March 2 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The fight card is co-headlined by Most Valuable Promotions’ other top star, Amanda Serrano, who is returning to her native island to face Nina Meinke.
Jake Paul will square off with Ryan Bourland on March 2 in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Bourland is experienced. In 19 fights, he had 17 wins, with six coming by knockout. However, much like Paul, Bourland’s resume is somewhat lacking. His last three opponents had a combined 28-17-1 record. In fact, Paul, at 8-1, has the highest winning percentage of any of Bourland’s foes.
Likewise, Bourland easily ranks among Paul’s best opponents – a group that includes former MMA fighters, little-known boxer Andre August, 5-foot-7 former Knicks star Nate Robinson, and Tommy Fury, who beat The Problem Child by split decision in February of last year.
Jake Paul is still searching for a signature win
Paul, who beat August by knockout in December, justified his decision to face Bourland in a statement from his promotion company, MVP.
‘I’ve always said my goal is to become a world champion,’ Paul said. ‘I beat a pro boxer in December in the first round, someone who’s been boxing their entire life, and what did I do next? I went straight back to camp to get ready to face my next opponent, a professional boxer who has twice as many professional fights under his belt than I do.
‘It’s a new year, it’s an even better me, and I’m facing an even more experienced, seasoned boxer on Saturday, March 2 as co-main to the Puerto Rican GOAT, Amanda Serrano.’
Paul said he will be donating proceeds to Boxing Bullies in an effort to rebuild gyms across Puerto Rico.
In his statement, Bourland wrote off Paul as a social media influencer, who is not serious about boxing.
‘Jake Paul steps into the ring with his social media clout, but let’s not mistake followers for experience or skill,’ Bourland said in a statement. ‘While he’s been busy chasing likes, I’ve been honing my craft for years, stepping into the ring and beating real boxers. On Saturday, March 2 I will shock the world and put an end to Jake Paul’s boxing career.’